UOK coordinates a research network in the field of complex systems to address social challenges using data

explain human behavior, Improving urban infrastructure Or the Control the epidemic These are some of the social and economic challenges that research in the field of complex systems addresses. It is a scientific field that uses tools from statistical physics and new computational techniques to analyze and utilize large amounts of data generated in the past 20 years due to digital human interaction and increased sensing of human activities. In the face of this great challenge, Thematic network SocioComplex IIIFunded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, with the aim of promoting synergy and scientific cooperation, as well as training young researchers. Javier Borg-Holthofer, principal investigator in the Complex Systems Group (Cosin3), from the Interdisciplinary Internet Institute (IN3) of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), leads this initiative that brings together key research groups in this field, spread across thirteen research centers and universities across Spain.

“Complexity science is uniquely positioned to provide a disruptive and innovative approach to societal challenges. Scientific approaches from disciplines such as Economics, political science, linguistics, urban planning or social sciences They have traditionally been limited by available information and practices that are hardly relevant to those in other disciplines. to merge Complexity science -Used for Describe systems that contain many interacting parts “Among them in multiple ways – alongside new information and communication technologies (ICT) and social sciences, we believe it is possible to create a paradigm shift and facilitate the co-evolution of ICT and society,” explains Javier Borg.

Epidemiological data analysis

A recent example of the importance of research in this field is the recent experience with… pandemicComplexity sciences have played a major role, especially when it comes to… Understand large amounts of unstructured information. “While biomedical researchers searched for effective therapeutic systems and a successful vaccine, the complex systems community rapidly deployed the most advanced analytical tools to Model of disease transmission dynamics. In this way, complex systems specialists developed models with useful analytical derivations, which, when used with experimental data, allowed predictions,” recalls Javier Borg Holthofer.

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In this context, the researcher at the University of Auckland believes that this network allows “planting new seeds to enhance research in this field and launch joint cooperation, which is essential work that, although it does not have guaranteed results, facilitates the creation of research opportunities,” he says. .

In addition to the University of Auckland, the research groups that are part of SocioComplex III belong to the Polytechnic University of Madrid, the University of Barcelona (UB), the Carlos III University of Madrid, and the Institute of Interdisciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC-CSIC). – University of the Balearic Islands), University of Burgos (UBU), Rovira i Virgili University, University of Valencia, IMDEA Networks, University of Zaragoza, University of Cantabria, IFCA-CSIC, and Universidad Alcal de Henares. .

More than a decade of scientific collaboration

This network is the result of a strong research trail in different research groups that have been consolidated in recent years. In fact, cooperation between some members of SocioComplex III emerged more than a decade ago, and the desire to strengthen this cooperation led to the emergence of the first SocioComplex network (2015-2017), coordinated by Josep Perel (UB), and SocioComplex II (2020). -2022), curated by Rosa Benito (UPM). “I created all these efforts A cohesive community with a clear international presence and a strong scientific impact. “Members of the SocioComplex networks already have a long and successful track record and address aspects such as human cooperation, risks in financial markets, epidemics or urban infrastructure,” highlights the network coordinator.

In this sense, the network is organized in three thematic areas: Social Systems, led by Juan Carlos Losada (UPM), Urban Sciences, led by José J. Ramasco (IFISC), and Economics and Finance, led by Luis Izquierdo (UBU).

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Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary network

One of the main strengths of SocioComplex III is the heterogeneous mix of researchers from different disciplines such as, for example, physics, engineering, economics or social sciences. However, one of the characteristics of the initiative is the promotion of interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration, which “is not limited to bringing together scholars from different fields, but rather attempts to address a particular topic from different disciplines to determine – Strategies used to work collaboratively“Thereby obtaining a final product that is greater than the sum of the individual contributions of each participating researcher,” adds the UOK researcher.

Attract new talent

One of the primary goals of SocioComplex III is to attract new talent who can be trained in complex systems and who can be integrated into the research groups that participate in the network. Therefore, one strategic line is to organize courses, including a summer school with master classes from some of the leading international researchers in the field, in order to Which young researchers can start with In the interdisciplinary work characteristic of this field. “The idea is to give young people access to work and philosophy and to direct this research applied to social issues in the field of complex systems,” says Javier Borg Holthofer.

Research conducted by the UOC CoSIN3 group supports many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as: 3Health and wellness; Elevensustainable cities and communities; And 13, Work for the weather.

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Robin Berme
[email protected]
+34 659 05 42 39

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Research and development at UoK

UOC's Research and Innovation (R&I) contributes to solving the challenges faced by global societies in the twentieth century. 21st across the Study of the interface between technology and the humanities and social sciences, with a particular focus on network society, online learning and digital health.

Most 500 researchers and more than 50 groups The research centers around the UOC Seven Studies, a research program in online learning (E-learning research) and two research centers: the Interdisciplinary Internet Institute (On 3) and e-health center (eHC).

The university also works to encourage Innovation in digital learning Through the eLearning Innovation Center (eLinC), and Knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship For the UOC community with the platform Hobik.

The goals of Agenda 2030 For sustainable development of the United Nations and Open knowledge They are strategic hubs for teaching, research and innovation at the University of Auckland. more information: Research.uoc.edu.

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